Savannah Guthrie, MSNBC anchor

Five years ago, Savannah Guthrie rolled the dice and walked away from a promising legal career to try to make it in television news. After a little more than a year at NBC, she landed the plum job of covering the White House. And in two weeks, Guthrie will add new duties to her plate: She'll be anchoring a daily morning show on MSNBC with Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd. "It's beyond any reporter's dream," the 38-year-old said of her current assignment, for which she rises by 4:30 a.m. to cram information about toxic assets, Afghanistan and healthcare reform. "What's amazing is how many people in Washington are awake at that hour." Had things gone differently, the graduate of Georgetown University Law Center would have likely been rising early to write legal briefs instead. Court TV snapped her up as trial correspondent, which led to a gig as a legal analyst for NBC News, which then hired her as a correspondent in September 2007. A year later, Guthrie found herself covering one of the biggest stories of the year: the campaign of GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. "She has the spunk of Mary Tyler Moore and the toughness of Lou Grant," said NBC anchor Brian Williams. "I'm selfishly glad she chose journalism over law." -- Matea Gold
Chris Usher / For the Times
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